Discovering the Collection

Since the summer of 2019 Museum Folkwang has been presenting its collection in completely redesigned halls. Taking New Worlds as the overarching theme, the presentation is destined to enable visitors to experience the long-standing collection in a new form, and often from surprising angles. Now, painting is juxtaposed with photography, sculpture or prints, and enters into unprecedented and inspiring constellations with world art and poster art.

Each hall of the collection is arranged to cut across media and epochs alike. Firmly in keeping with the Folkwang idea of the museum’s founder Karl Ernst Osthaus (1874–1921), the different genres and fields of the collection interact. The new presentation covers the entire sections of the museum devoted to the collection in the main building and the new wing, inviting visitors to discover the collection anew. In the context of the preparations for the big exhibitions in our 2022 jubilee year we are currently refurbishing individual collection spaces. This is why principal works of Impressionism and Expressionism in our collection currently cannot be viewed.

Each of the 24 rooms is grouped around a so-called anchor piece, which provides a thematic impulse. All the halls address new beginnings and new times. The presentation title of New Worlds thus also homes in on current political and social themes such as migration, the flood of images and Fake News in the social media – offering a contemporary take on a collection that has grown over time.

The room entitled Prometheus Bound kicks off the tour of the New Worlds. It is dedicated to how artists have engaged with the myths of Creation in different cultural contexts. Alongside Barnett Newman’s painting, mythological figures such as Max Beckmann’s Perseus (1941), Auguste Rodin’s bronze Eva (around 1881) and Albert Renger-Patzsch’s photograph Head of a Viper (1925) are all on display. It is from here that the route starts into New Worlds, introducing the diversity and richness of a unique collection spanning eras and media, formats, and topics.

You can discover which works are currently on view in the collection presentation by clicking the “on view” filter button in the online collection.

Follow this link for the Collection Online...

Exhibition view Prometheus Bound
Works: Barnett Newman, Auguste Rodin,
Max Beckmann

Exhibition view Ecce Homo
Works: Honoré Daumier, Grave sculpture
(around 1520), Thomas Schütte

Exhibition view Vermisst die Welt
Works: Per Kirkeby, Wilhelm Lehmbruck

Exhibition view Alle reden vom Wetter. Wir nicht
Works: Oliviero Toscani, Jürgen Holtfreter, McCann Erickson

Photos: Jens Nober, Museum Folkwang